December 30, 2015

Islands of Adventure

Well we have arrived at Hogsmeade Station.

They had horseless carriages available to take the students on to Hogswarts Castle from the station.

Here we are finally at the gates to Hogsmeade.

It's a charming little village.

It is much smaller than Diagon Alley.

Time to head to Hogwarts Castle.

This place is very impressive looking.

The ride inside - Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, is by far my favorite ride at ANY park that I have visited.  It just blows away the competition.  Super immersive.

I really liked the snowman.

The Caro-Seuss-el was fun.

I also really liked the Jurassic Park section.


Inside the Discovery Center.

The final splash down on the River Adventure.

Ripsaw Falls.

Some decor in Toon Lagoon.

Fear Fall in Marvel Superhero Island.

I'll be honest, we spent most of our time in this park in the Hogsmeade area - and honestly, can you blame us?  

That will do it for 2015 - see you in 2016!

December 29, 2015

Universal Studios Orlando

Welcome to Universal Studios Florida.

This is such a fun place to visit.

Shrek 4D.

Minion Mayhem.

The dance part at the exit to the ride was fun.


Rip Ride Rock-It is an interesting rollercoaster.

You get to choose the song you want to listen to as you ride.

I chose to listen to Sabotage by the Beastie Boys.

They did a great job with their cuts to sync the songs to the ride.

The new Springfield area of the park is a nice addition.

The Simpsons Ride is a little too jerky for my liking.

Course I thought the Back to the Future ride that was here before Simpsons was also too jerky.

This is probably one of my favorite rides at the park.

Isn't this great?

They even have the control room.

I didn't understand what was going on during this ride.

Let's take the Knight Bus to Diagon Alley.

The wall from the Leaky Cauldron Inn area to Diagon Alley.

Speaking of the Leaky Cauldron.

There are all sorts of shops to explore here.

The main ride in this section is Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts.

Speaking of Gringotts, there is a dragon on top of it.

After dropping off your carry-ons into a locker.

You get to explore the bank before your wild rollercoaster ride.

The ride is like nothing else.  So amazing.

Don't forget to get a Butterbeer while you are in the area.  So yummy.

Let's take a look a few more shops.

This store is one of the more popular ones.

It is owned by the Weasley twins.

Well, it's time to catch our train to Hogsmeade.

Here's the train station - King's Cross.

This looks like the correct platform.

We need to check our luggage before we can board.

Dang, knew I forgot something ... my owl.

Luggage is checked - time to go board.

There she is - the Hogswarts Express.

All right we got our compartment assignments.

One final photo before I board.

Here we are traveling to Hogsmead - you can see Hogwarts Castle in the background.